Man blamed “moose fever” after admitting to poaching in Tillamook County

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the subject obtained a permit to hunt from the landowner

PORTLAND, Ore. (COIN) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) says a 66-year-old man who shot a herd of elk in Tillamook County blamed “elk fever” for the shooting when he turned himself in to police.

ODFW reported a shooting on Thursday afternoon, even though the incident happened months earlier in January. The department said the perpetrator killed one elk and seriously wounded at least three others while illegally shooting the herd from the road.

Oregon wildlife officials say the man also had a gun pointed at the highway.

On the day of the shooting, OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers responded to a tip line call, finding three wounded moose. They later reported that one cow moose had been put down due to injuries, and the fourth moose had already been tagged by the perpetrator.

The next day, wildlife officials say one of the remaining moose likely drowned after running into the Nehalem River. The soldiers also had to kill another mortally wounded bull moose. The animals were donated to local tribes and the prison.

The suspect claimed he had a hunting permit from the property owner, who later told officials he saw the suspect dressing the corpse before leaving.

“A man got out and stood in the road and started shooting,” the landowner, who asked to remain anonymous, told ODFW. “I told another hunter, who said the guy shouldn’t have left. He should have called the state police and turned himself in.”

The landowner called the offender and told him to turn himself in to ODFW. When he did, wildlife officials say the man regretted his actions and blamed it on “moose fever.”

The identity of the suspect was not released during the investigation. He was cited for shooting from a roadway, unlawfully taking or possessing an antlerless elk and unlawfully taking or possessing a bull elk.

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